I see you over there, the one with the allergic kid. Looking worried, looking tired. I saw how you hovered near the playground searching the ground for errant animal crackers or peanuts, the offending food that could send your little one into an attack, that could keep him from breathing, that tiny bite that could send you back to the doctor. No place is safe.
I saw your heart rate rise when someone said “He can have _____ food, can’t he?” or feed him something that touched a shared utensil and you realize it’s too late. And you wonder, how much did he eat? How long will he be sick this time? Why weren’t you looking directly at him 24 hours a day? Couldn’t you just take him into the bathroom with you when you went? How could you let this happen?
I see you stress just thinking about school, preschool, all the activities in life that involve food. You are terrified he’ll become sick again and again. Keep him home forever in a bubble? He’d miss so much.
I saw you cringe when the other mom rolled her eyes because your kid couldn’t eat the birthday cupcake, or their kid couldn’t bring their favorite snack to school. They think it’s a fad diet. They wonder why food allergies weren’t such a big deal when they were kids. You wonder, too.
I saw when a friend commented that “It’s only a food allergy” thinking maybe he had a little rash. Maybe like their adult cousin who’s allergic to _____. To them, it’s a small inconvenience. How could they know? The months of sleepless nights holding him up praying he’d breathe. The screaming. The treatments. The delays. The mistakes. The doctors without answers. Pushing and trying new things, new doctors, new meds … anything.
Hold your head up, mama. You aren’t the only one, I’m right there with you. You’re doing things right, you never stop trying and that is all you can do.
A mom of another allergic kid